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What a Success! Courthouse Cajun Dinner
raises $2,768 to save our courthouse

Preliminary totals on the event do not include some donations and "tips" on tickets - which may add as much as a few hundred dollars more. Story still in progress. Additional photos, details requested.
Click on headline for story plus photo(s)

By Ed Waggener

It was one perfect evening, last night, Thursday, July 29, 2010 in Columbia and a lot of money was raised for the Courthouse Preservation Project. But, most importantly, in the immortal refrain of all the great old time correspondents in the Adair County News and Daily Statesman, "A good time was had by all.

We've come a long way in one year

The dinner marked a major milestone in the efforts to preserve Adair County's most famous building. One year ago this Sunday, Linda Waggener wrote a fascinating story, Save the Adair Co., KY Courthouse: Do we have a ghost about the first Save the Courthouse committee tour of the iconic landmark.

The introductory capsule read, "Save the Courthouse committee toured the building on Friday, July 31, 2009. Old building is full of fascinating structures, beautiful woodwork, legends, with just one shortcoming: It needs a ghost, this group was told: Dan Antle, Barbara Armitage, Ernestine Bennett, Bob Burt, Nancy J. Cozby, Sherri Crawhorn, Billy Joe Fudge, Wid Harris, Lee Ann Jessee, Vonnie Kolbenschlag, Susan Loy, Martha B. Martin, Mary Frances May, Carol Meadows, Emily Sargent, Donna Shirley, Linda Waggener, Ellen Zornes, and J.D. Zornes; they were joined later by Charles Grimsley and Joe Moore." The story is accompanied by 26 photos about the tour and the building.

Since then, committees have acted. A plan has been adopted, the tax-exempt non-profit Adair Heritage Association took on new life, and fund raising has begun. Now in earnest.

Fund raising is in unstoppable mode, now

The Courthouse Cajun event, Thursday night, staged by Born Again Cajun Robert Flowers and the Adair Heritage Association raised a total $2,768 for the Deconstruction Phase.

All 100 of the limited ticket event were sold at $10 each for a total of $1,000.00. The silent auction raised another $1,618.00 and there were $150 in new Adair Heritage Association memberships.

A cooling rain preceded the event, bringing the temperature down to a bearable swelter.

There were officials, bigwigs, candidates and a good number of us just plain folks. Here's a few snapshots of some who were there.The County's top executive, CJE Ann Melton and her finance officer, Gale Cowan, were at the event, as was her November general election opponent Wid Harris and his wife.

Adair County's Historian, Mike Watson was there. Next to the Courthouse itself - maybe more so - he is in an elite number of Adair County icons.

Billy Rowe, sure to be the next District 7 Adair County Magistrate came, with wife Hannah, and both gave high marks to the Chef Flowers.

Both candidates for Mayor of Columbia, Councillor Charles Grimsley and Mark Harris, with wife Cindy, were in attendance.

Both jailer candidates, Eric Antle and Rick Wilson were in attendance.

Both sheriff candidates, Bobby Sullivan and Harrison Moss came.

Columbia City Council Candidate John Ford and his wife, Adair County Genealogical Society leader Lila Ford, were early and enthusiastic arrivals.

Columbia City Councillor Linda Waggener was at the event with yr. humble scribe.

Both Columbia Funeral Homes were well represented, with David and Cathy Martin and Blake from Grissom-Martin Funeral Home and Richard and Beth Phelps from Stotts-Phelps-McQueary present.

Former CJE Richard Walker and his wife, Marsha Walker, District 2 School Board Member, were present.

And Martha Barnes Martin, who knows more anecdotes and stories about Columbia than anyone, and has the best style in delivery, was in attendance, with Bro. Raymond Martin, longtime former pastor and still a member of the Columbia Christian Church, the host for the event.

School Board member Chris Watts (District 5) and Sandra Watts were there.

The library had large number present.

The Adair County Public Library (ACPL) had many present: Lee Ann Jessee, the director; genealogy librarian Ernie Bennett; Library Board Member J.D. Zornes, with wife Ellen Zornes, President of the Adair Heritage Association, and Library Board Member Mary Knight, with husband Richard Knight. perhaps others.

The ACPL was in charge of organization, planning, and ceremonial plans for the event, while CEO Robert Flowers and his Bank of Columbia Cajun Cooking Staff had full responsibility for the meal, but there was some crossover, when Mr. Flowers gave the keynote address, brief but well accepted one which may have been a prelude to his candidacy to an as yet unannounced elected position.

The Adair Garden Club was represented, with Wendy Butler Burt and husband Bob Burt. And Ginger Swift.

The Columbia Rotary Club's President, George Kolbenschlag, and Vonnie Kolbenschlag, whose words were distributed in a keepsake brochure "This Place Matters: Our Courthouse," were a big part of the evening.

People from from over 100 miles away

Adair County native Margaret Bault Varble and husband Frank Varble, drove in from Hendersonville, TN.

Campbellsville University Board of Trustees member Mary Frances May was in attendance, who also was a star in the featured entertainment, a dance with Chef Robert Flowers, and later, with genuwine Louisianan and Born Again Adair Countians, Michael Wiggins, to the tune of the Cajun National Anthem, Jolie BlondeThe media was well represented with Sharon Burton, Community Voice publisher; and the brother in law of Michael Morris, the Dean of Adair County Journalists, Paul B. Hayes, editor of the Adair Progress. Hayes is not only the favorite son of his adopted home, Columbia, but a native favorite son of Glens Fork, though Gradyville claims him in their pantheon of Famous People from Gradyville.

Generations of the Barbees were there, from youngster Susan Lynn Barbee, her father Ol' Joe Barbee, and his father and mother Joe Russell and Ruby Barbee.

(Those mentioned are from memory. Many other people, some famous, some less so, were in attendance, and as my memory is jogged, I want to add them, for the record. -EW)

An All-Star Cajun staff assembled

There was the Adair County All-Star Cajun cooking staff, assembled by Master Chef Robert Flowers, which included his brothers, Jimmy Flowers and Joe Flowers, and Georgeann Flowers, Candace Stockton, Jason Cox, Susan Lynn Barbee and Terry Harvey, and Johnnie Johnson, along with Chefs' Chaplain Rev. Joe Payne.

The Christian Church Park, located off the bend in Reed Street and behind the Church, 206 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY, was for many, a newly discovered delight.

The Trabue woods surround the park, which comes well equipped a large pavillion which seats some 100 persons.

Lindsey Wilson College furnished a four seater golf cart, piloted by Richard Phelps and others. The vehicle was used to ferry guests from parking areas and to the rest rooms at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, made available by the funeral home for the occasion. And maybe it is a sign of a more enlightened time to come, when the vehicles are made legal by local government for Columbia Streets.

A new mark on the Preservation thermometer on the courthouse lawn has not been added yet. But donations continue to arrive. They can be made at the Adair County Public Library, 307 Greensburg ST, Columbia, KY 42728. Phone (270) 384-2472. "This Place Matters: Our Courthouse" fundraising t-shirts, $10 each, can also be purchased at the library.

Many, many people were disappointed when they were too late, like the parable of the foolish virgins recently on the signboard at the House of Prayer on Jamestown Street teaches, when they wanted tickets and none were left. A move is on to have an encore performance, or a similar one. No word on how that is progressing, but as new events and opportunities are announced, they will be publicized widely.

This story was posted on 2010-08-01 11:11:17
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Historic Courthouse Clocktower:
A sight which means home

2010-07-29 - Photo By Ed Waggener. From the Christian Church Park, Columbia, KY
Almost at the same time Robert Flowers, President of the Bank of Columbia, was telling those in attendance at the Cajun Courthouse Dinner that "all of us have the feeling that we are truly home when we return from a trip and see the courthouse clocktower," the silhouette of the tower was outlined above the treeline, backlit by the sunset." The Bank of Columbia furnished the meal for the highly successful event.

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Adair County All-star Cajun Chefs

2010-07-29 - Photo by Ed Waggener. Christian Church Park, off Reed Street and behind the Columbia Christian Church, 206 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY
Head Cajun Chef Robert Flowers, fourth from left, assembled an Adair County all star cast of Cajun Cooks to put together the dinner featuring Cajun Deep Fried Turkey, Cajun Beans, Jambalaya, RIce, Cornbread, and Homemade Banana Pudding served with sweet and unsweetened iced tea, water, and soft drinks. From left are Georgeann Flowers, Joe Flowers, Terry Harvey, Chef Robert Flowers, Susan Barbee, Jason Cox, Candace Stockton, Jim Flowers, and Johnnie Johnson. The dinner won rounds of applause. Billy Rowe, just back from a trip in Louisiana, said the jambalaya far surpassed any he had eaten down there, "And we had it almost every meal, in great restaurants," he said.

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Courthouse Cajun Dinner: Robert Flowers and Mary Frances May

2010-07-29 - Photo by Ed Waggener. Christian Church Park, off Reed Street and behind the Columbia Christian Church, 206 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY
An unforgettable moment at the Cajun Courthouse Dinner: Robert Flowers and Mary Frances May danced to the music of the Cajun National Anthem, Jolie Blonde and to the applause of those who enjoyed the performance.

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(ADV) Courthouse Preservation T-Shirts on sale

2010-07-31 - Photo by Ellen Zornes. 307 Greensburg ST, Columbia, KY
The AHA (Adair Heritage Association) is taking orders at the library, 307 Greensburg ST, Columbia, KY, phone (270) 384-2472 for T-shirts. They are $10 each for any size. -Ellen Zornes

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Cajun Courthouse Dinner: The totals added up $2,718

2010-08-01 - Photo by Ed Waggener. Christian Church park
Lee Ann Jessee, left, read off winners in the bidding for items in the Silent Auction, with the help of Ellen Zornes, President of the Adair Heritage Association. The numbers for the evening were impressive, totaling $2,768, with some donations yet to be counted.

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Cajun Courthouse Dinner: Mike Wiggins

2010-08-01 . Columbia Christian Church Park
Laissez les bons temps rouler: The good times kept rolling as Mike Wiggins showed his steps with belle of the ball Mary Frances May, left. In the background, right of Wiggins, are Robert Flowers, and Rev. Joe Payne, who approved the performance. Rev. Payne is pastor of the Eunice Church of God.

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Courthouse Cajun Dinner: Dessert safety testing

2010-08-01 - Photo by Ed Waggener. Columbia Christian Church Park
Mikki Flowers, left, and her Greensburg Street neighbor Candace Stockton, tested the dessert to make it was safe to eat.

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Courthouse Preservation Thermometer climbs

2010-08-03 - Photo by Ed Waggener. 500 Public Square, Columbia, KY
The Courthouse Preservation fund thermometer went up today, as $2,769 from the Courthouse Cajun Dinner and Silent Auction was added today by Ellen Zornes, President of the Adair Heritage Association left of thermometer, and Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton, right. Others in the photo are, Front row, from left Mary Frances May, Ginger Swift, Bailey Reyolds, Lee Ann Jessee, and David Hennen. Back row: Charles Grimsley, Susan Loy, (Zornes and Melton) Gale Cowan, Paul Barry Hayes, and Martha Martin. Clicking ReadMore accesses Story, Courthouse Cajun Dinner with photo album

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